Martinsville will continue adding fluoride to its drinking water — its practice for many years.
After hearing from a local dentist and studying information about fluoride in public water supplies, Martinsville City Council on Tuesday took no action on a city resident’s recent request that the city stop fluoridating its water.
In some circles, there has been controversy over whether fluoride can cause health problems and whether having it in drinking water constitutes localities forcing residents to take medicine.
Fluoride is a derivative of the element fluorine.
The American Dental Association recommends that public water supplies be fluoridated. A fact sheet published by the organization shows that fluoride is safe and helps prevent tooth decay and dental diseases.
For more than 65 years, “the best available scientific evidence consistently indicates” that fluoride in water is safe, the fact sheet states, even though some researchers have presented findings to the contrary.
Fluoridated drinking water is “the single, most effective public health measure in preventing tooth decay,” said Dr. Mark Crabtree, a former Martinsville mayor who has a dental practice on Starling Avenue.
Over the years, more studies have concluded that it is effective than that it is not, said Crabtree, co-founder of the Piedmont Virginia Dental Health Foundation.
About 75 percent of the nation’s public water supplies are fluoridated, he said.
It is “pretty much a standard practice,” said City Manager Leon Towarnicki.
Fluoridating the city’s water costs Martinsville about $ 15,000 a year, a document shows.
Based on information she has seen, Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge said the city is spending about five times as much on fluoridating water than the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. spends to promote small businesses. She questioned whether that is the right message, so to speak, for the community to communicate.
However, Hodge said she was not questioning the benefits of fluoridating water.
Cyber Attacks Growing In Frequency – Entire Western Financial System Is Vulnerable
The threat posed by cyber war to our increasingly complicated, technologically dependent and vulnerable financial institutions, markets, banks and indeed deposits becomes more clear by the day.
British and US agents will carry out a mock cyber attack or ‘cyber war games’ on the Bank of England and commercial banks in City of London and on Wall Street in the coming months as part of tests on critical, but vulnerable financial infrastructure.
Should banks be hacked and customers deposit accounts compromised then the vista of potential bail ins becomes a real one. In June, JP Morgan Chase were hacked by unknown parties who stole the personal details of 83 million customers.
In July of last year Bloomberg reported that malware had been detected in the system of the Nasdaq exchange. Its purpose was unclear but it was believed to have been embedded there by Russian hackers.
There is also the alleged hacking of Sony Pictures by North Korea and the alleged hacking of Facebook, Instagram and Tinder yesterday.
David Cameron announced measures two weeks ago that he said were designed to help companies, government organisations and banks and prevent a repeat of hacking attacks.
The alleged busting of a Russian spy-ring in New York on Monday, for gathering intelligence that could be used for “destabilisation of the markets”, highlights yet again that the threat posed by cyber-warfare is a growing one.
The accused is a journalist working for The News Organisation, a Russian media company which is used by Russia’s SVR intelligence agency to gather information according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday.
The claim was made based on an intercepted conversation where the accused discusses with another Russian – a banker based in New York – what three questions he should ask the “New York Exchange.”
His associate suggests looking at ETFs: “How they are used, the mechanisms of use for destabilization of the markets.” He adds, “Then you can ask them what they think about limiting the use of trading robots. . . . You can also ask about the potential interest of the participants of the exchange to the products tied to the Russian Federation.”
While the claim that this conversation is evidence of espionage is a flimsy one, it along with recent events serves to highlight the vulnerability of the internet, our websites and the financial system – a system that has grown so vast and unwieldy that managing security has become and ad hoc process.
Yesterday morning social networks Facebook and Instagram were allegedly hacked by ‘Lizard Squad’, a group of hackers. The group have previously hacked Malaysian Airlines.
The first high-profile case of nation-states using cyber-warfare was the unleashing of the “stuxnet worm” – apparently created by Israel and the US – on Iran’s nuclear energy enrichment plant in Netanz in 2010. It almost caused a major environmental catastrophe.
In 2012, Iran devastated the computer network of Saudi Aramco in a similar attack.
From the above examples we can see a panorama of human activities which grow more vulnerable as hackers and cyber-warfare grow more sophisticated.
Russia’s Prime Minister Medvedev yesterday warned that if the U.S. succeeds in it’s plans to cut Russia out of the SWIFT banking transfer system, then the “Russian response – economically and otherwise – will know no limits.”
Given that a military confrontation is not desired by Russia it would seem that cyber-warfare will certainly be part of the mix that Medvedev alludes to.
Banks have been hacked, stock exchanges have been hacked and critical infrastructure have been hacked in recent years. It is likely that many of these small scale attacks have been merely testing of defenses.
A concerted attack on the western financial system would likely include attempts at disabling various exchanges including stock markets and foreign exchange markets. Banks could be attacked in such a way that bank balances, which are merely digital figures, could be erased.
In a worst case, scenario such attacks could be done in conjunction with countries hostile to the West dumping vast quantities of dollars onto the market.
In such an environment the West, which is so dependent on technology and the monetary system, would be economically paralysed and the primary wealth that would remain would be tangible wealth.
Tangible assets include gold and silver bullion, agricultural land, water, property etc. We are not predicting such an outcome. We are simply looking at the facts as they are, in the context of intense geopolitical tensions, and surmising that it would be prudent to take necessary precautions.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio put it well yesterday regarding the snow storm and echoed something we have been saying for many years now: “We obviously missed the worst of the storm.” Defending actions by his office and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to shut schools and freeze regional transportation, de Blasio said that they were right to:
“Prepare for the worst but hope for the best …”
The Comprehensive Guide to Bail-ins: Protecting Your Savings in the Coming Bail-in Era
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,287, EUR 1,131.93 and GBP 846.71 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,282.75, EUR 1,141.54 and GBP 854.60 per ounce.
Gold gained 1.12%, or $ 14.30, yesterday, closing at $ 1,294.70 per ounce. Silver rose $ 0.20, or 1.12%, to $ 18.09/oz.
Gold climbed yesterday as a slump in orders for U.S. durable goods signaled that weaker foreign economies are weighing on the American economy, boosting demand for gold as a safe haven.
Demand for all durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — declined 3.4 percent, the worst performance since August, the Commerce Department reported. Slowing expansion may prompt the Federal Reserve to hold off on raising interest rates which is bullish gold gold. Policy makers will meet this week.
In Singapore, gold for immediate delivery steadied above $ 1,290 an ounce. Holding gains from the previous session, as focus turned to whether a weaker U.S. and global economy will curb the US Federal Reserve’s claim that they intend raising interest rates.
Gold in New Delhi rebounded today by Rs 120 to Rs 28,420 per 10 grams, the Press Trust of India reports. There is a revival in gold buying to meet ongoing wedding season demand. That has snapped the two-day losing streak for gold.
Another bullish factor for gold is Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promising “radical” change today.
His new government swiftly moved to roll back key parts of Greece’s international ‘bailout’, prompting a third day of losses on financial markets.
A swift series of announcements signalled the newly installed government would not back down from its anti austerity and debt writedown pledges, setting it on course for a clash with the Troika. The IMF and ECB have said they will not renegotiate the aid package needed to help Greece pay its debts.
Even before the first meeting of the new cabinet, new ministers were on the airwaves reassuring voters they would honour campaign pledges to roll back the tough economic policies imposed under Greece’s 240 billion-euro bank bailout programme.
Silver for immediate delivery fell 0.1 percent to $ 18.11 an ounce. Platinum was unchanged at $ 1,263 an ounce while palladium rose 0.5 percent to $ 788.75 an ounce.
China and the African Union agreed on an ambitious plan to develop road, rail and air transport routes to link capitals across the continent.
CNN is out with an editorial calling for a North America Union…
Today James is joined by Jeff Berwick of DollarVigilante.com and the Anarchast podcast to discuss Anarchapulco, the first international anarchist/anarcho-capitalist conference of its type that will be held in Acapulco, Mexico from February 24th to March 1st, 2015. With speakers including Luke Rudkowski, Dan Dicks, Roger Ver, Cody Wilson and James Corbett, as well as musical acts, special events and workshops, Anarchapulco promises to be an educational (and fun) celebration of liberty.
Today the Old (dying out) Continent is under multi-faced crises pressure some of them having older roots but the others are product of current political decisions and moves by the European decision makers (and those who are behind them across the Ocean). The European oldest and mostly painful crisis-problem is a biological declination of the […]
Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D. TARPLEY.net January 27, 2015
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Last month David Cameron attacked “frankly ridiculous” members of the European Parliament for blocking EU authorities from tracking terrorist suspects.
And so it is with the great ‘mystery’ of Boko Haram, a group that in just a few years has become one of the most recognizable terrorist entities in the world. Having carried out heinous massacres of men, women, and children, abducted thousands of innocents, and destroyed whole towns, Boko Haram now symbolizes just that perfect blend of barbarism, religious and ideological fundamentalism, and non-white skin, which come together to cast them, in the eyes of westerners especially, as the manifestation of evil – the devil incarnate that can only be destroyed by the forces of righteousness. You know, the ‘good guys.’
But what happens when there are no ‘good guys’ to be found? What happens when you follow the story only to find the most cynical of intentions from every player involved? Such is the case with this Boko Haram story, and indeed the regional politics and geopolitics of West Africa as a whole.
In trying to unravel the labyrinthine web of political, economic, and strategic threads connecting a number of significant actors, it becomes clear that no analysis of Boko Haram is worth reading unless it approaches the issue from three distinctly different, yet intimately connected, angles.
First, there is Nigeria’s domestic politics, and the issue of Boko Haram and the perception of the government and opposition’s responsibility for the chaos it has wreaked. With elections scheduled to take place in February, Boko Haram and national security have, quite understandably, become dominant issues in the public mind. The mutual finger-pointing and accusations provide an important backdrop for understanding how Boko Haram fits both into the public discourse, and into the strategies of political networks behind the scenes in Nigeria, and the region more broadly.
Second is the all-important regional political and economic chessboard. In West Africa – an area rich in strategic resources – there are a few interested parties who stand to gain from Boko Haram’s ongoing attacks which amount to a destabilization of the entire Nigerian state. Nigeria’s neighbor Chad has recently come under heavy scrutiny from Nigeria’s military apparatus for its purported role in financing and facilitating Boko Haram’s expansion. Chad sees in Nigeria potential oil profits as it expands its own oil extraction capabilities throughout the Chad Basin – a geographical region that includes significant territory in Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger. Of course, major oil companies, not to mention powerful western nations such as France, have a vested interest in maintaining their profits from West African oil.
Finally and, perhaps most importantly, is the continental and global perspective. Nigeria, as Africa’s most dynamic economy, presents major opportunities and challenges for key global powers. For China, Nigeria represents one of its principal investment footholds in Africa. A key trading partner for Beijing, Nigeria has increasingly been moving out of the direct orbit of the West, transforming it from a reliable, if subservient, Western ally, into an obstacle to be overcome. Coinciding with these developments has been the continually expanding US military presence throughout Africa, one that is increasingly concentrated in West Africa, though without much media fanfare aside from the Ebola story.
The international media has seized on the heart-rending story of thegirls of Chibok – the ubiquitous #BringBackOurGirls meme – and for most people that is all they know about Boko Haram. However, such a superficial understanding of one of the most complex international stories in recent years does little to further the discourse, or bring about a resolution. Rather, a more nuanced understanding puts Boko Haram into a larger international context, one which can go a long way to dismantling the organization, and the air of mystery that surrounds it. While many of the details remain murky at best, with powerful players operating behind the scenes, the contours of a regional destabilization and a proxy war become discernible.
The Politics of Boko Haram
With national elections less than a month away, the competing factions of Nigeria’s political establishment are busily trying to scapegoat their opponents, with each side implying that the other is either in league with Boko Haram, or is deliberately trying to capitalize on the situation. The two major parties – the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by President Goodluck Jonathan, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – have made Boko Haram into a political hot potato, passing it back and forth in hopes that voters will associate it with their opponent.
Last September, before Boko Haram once again made international headlines with their most recent offensives, the political mudslinging was already fierce. The Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party Councillors Forum, Collins Onogu stated that:
Most of those who have been rendered homeless in the North Eastern part of the country by Boko Haram are PDP members. What is their offence? The spokesperson of APC…has neglected his duty and he is now making statements on behalf of Boko Haram….APC has been using the media to blackmail President Goodluck Jonathan, their plan is to make the country ungovernable for him, they have plans of diverting the attention of Nigerians but it will not work out.
While Onogu’s characterization of the issue is certainly debatable, it is quite clear the PDP sees the issue of Boko Haram as a major political liability for their party, and for President Jonathan. It is for this reason that Collins and other PDP leaders have repeatedly threatened to “reveal the names of APC members sponsoring Boko Haram.” It’s entirely possible that the PDP might do this purely to sabotage their opponents in the campaign. However, it is equally true that the PDP is desperately trying to deflect the blame for a crisis that has developed while the Government has been under their control. Either way, the PDP is smearing the APC in order to guilt them by association.
Conversely, the APC has not only denied all the charges, they have made their own counter-claims, alleging that former high-ranking PDP officials are intimately involved in financing Boko Haram. John Oyegun, national chairman of the APC said in September 2014:
Dr. Stephen Davis, a man hired by the President Jonathan-led Federal Government to negotiate with Boko Haram for the release of the Chibok girls decided to speak out, believing the best way to tackle the insurgency is to expose the sponsors. And who are they?…he named former Borno Governor Ali Modu Sheriff and a former Army Chief, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, as the sponsors of Boko Haram… The sponsors of Boko Haram are within the PDP and the Presidency. They are known friends of President Jonathan. He knows them and they know him.
These revelations, vehemently denied by the PDP and Nigerian President Jonathan’s administration, certainly raise important questions as to the networks supporting and financing Boko Haram, and when, where, and why they were originally organized. According to leaked intelligence information obtained by the Nigerian news outletPremium Times, the former governor of Borno State, and Goodluck Jonathan ally, Ali Modu Sheriff has been one of the principal financiers and organizers of Boko Haram, basing his operations out of Chad (more on Chad later). The dated communications obtained by Premium Times “painted a picture of what appears to be a powerful regional support structure involving the Chadian president, Nigerian officials and Niger Republic, and spearheaded by Mr. Sheriff whom the intelligence presents as a powerful figure within this circle.”
Add to this information the findings of a presidential panel commissioned by President Jonathan:
The Report traced the origin of private militias in Borno State in particular, of which Boko Haram is an offshoot, to politicians who set them up in the run-up to the 2003 general elections. The militias were allegedly armed and used extensively as political thugs. After the elections and having achieved their primary purpose, the politicians left the militias to their fate since they could not continue funding and keeping them employed. With no visible means of sustenance, some of the militias gravitated towards religious extremism, the type offered by Mohammed Yusuf.
Certainly there are a lot of questions to answer here. Is Sheriff simply a former ally who has since “gone rogue” and decided to establish his own private army to enrich himself and his foreign patron? Conversely, could it be that Sheriff continues to be connected, if perhaps only indirectly, with the government in Abuja? The communications between Sheriff’s network and Nigerian military officials as far back as 2011 does seem to suggest at least an indirect connection between them. As such, there is obviously a complex web of relations connecting various parties in Nigeria, as well as its neighbors, with Boko Haram.
According to a 2011 intelligence memo from field officers in Chad, “members of Boko Haram sect are sometimes kept in Abeche region in Chad and trained before being dispersed. This happens usually when Mr. Sheriff visits Abeche.” So, even the most conservative analysis would have to admit there is undeniably a connection between the domestic politics of Nigeria, especially within the ruling party, and international actors who have their own agenda. And it is those actors, and their motivations, that deserve careful analysis.
Regional Conflict, Resource War
West Africa’s vast riches have long since been a prize for colonial powers and post-colonial states alike. Nigeria alone has become a global player in terms of oil production – supplying at least 8 percent of US oil imports – though it is debatable whether that has been much of a blessing for the Nigerian people. Throughout the region, economic interests have been central to the policies and agendas of a number of states whose leaders have both dollar signs in their eyes, and hegemony on their minds. This has only accelerated in recent years, especially since the imperialist war that toppled former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, perhaps the single force in Africa providing stability, and keeping peripheral actors such as Chad, Niger, and others more or less in line. Naturally, Gaddafi’s impact was seen a bit differently by those rulers whose ambitions suffered because of it.
Perhaps no leader has been more ambitious in recent years than Chadian President Idriss Déby who has played a central role in the entire Boko Haram story, from accusations that his government has provided them safe haven, to his possibly genuine, possibly disingenuous attempts to broker a ceasefire between the terror group and the Nigerian government. He has been linked with the aforementioned Ali Modu Sheriff, the alleged mastermind of the Boko Haram network. Intelligence information from a number of sources does seem to point to a direct connection. In addition, a 2009 US diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks revealed that:
A well-trained veteran Chadian extremist, Abu-Mahjin, who has limited ties to al-Qa’ida associates, recently traveled to Nigeria. He may be planning to conduct or facilitate a terrorist operation…recent tearline stated, ‘Nigerian-based probable Chadian extremist is keen to obtain more funds…it is not clear when he will receive this additional finance.’
Could it be that Abu-Mahjin acted as a de facto intermediary between certain elements in Nigeria and Chad? It is certainly plausible that, at the very least, the connection between Chad and Boko Haram goes back to the very transformation of that organization into a terrorist entity.
But what can Chad offer? And why would they?
To answer the former question, one must dive into recent history to see how Déby came to power. Curiously enough, his rise to the presidency was directly thanks to Gaddafi who, after years of war with Chad – war in which Déby himself led troops against Libyan forces – backed Déby against the former government of Hissène Habré who had been hosting a number of anti-Gaddafi Libyans with close ties to US intelligence, such as the once again relevant General Hifter. As Time magazine noted in 2001, “While the full scope of Déby’s relationship with Gaddafi remains hazy, it is known that Libya equipped Déby’s army with as many as 200 Toyota land cruisers fitted with 23-mm Soviet-made cannons.” It is quite likely that the military backing for Déby went far deeper than what is being acknowledged here.
In any event, the NATO-led war that toppled Gaddafi in 2011 radically changed the political character of the region. Suddenly, someone like Déby could pursue his own regional ambitions without the ever-watchful eye of Gaddafi who stood against any forces that sought to destabilize West Africa in the service of western corporations. With a long-established network of weapons and fighter smuggling, Chad became a major transit point for many of the weapons (and fighters) streaming out of Libya by the end of 2011. While much of the military hardware went through the Sahel region, likely into the arms of the equally shadowy Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), it is probable that a significant amount of it went to Chad. The long-standing ties with elements of the Libyan military only increase the likelihood that Chad became a refuge and/or conduit for countless weapons and fighters.
So, as Libya collapsed, and weapons and fighters came streaming out, Chad all of a sudden found itself in a position of strength, able to finally pursue an agenda to enrich itself, or at least enrich Déby and the clique around him. But what is it that he wants?
In recent years, oil discoveries throughout the Chad Basin have transformed how the states of West Africa view their economic future. At the heart of the basin is Lake Chad, surrounded by the nations of Chad, Cameroon, and Niger. According to a 2010 assessment from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Chad Basin has “estimated mean volumes of 2.32 billion barrels of oil, 14.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 391 million barrels of natural gas liquids.” The potential size of these resources certainly has whet a few palettes, both in the region and internationally.
All the countries of the basin have expressed strong desire in recent years to begin exploiting the energy reserves there. However, thus far, Nigeria has been unable to do so due to the Boko Haram insurgency.E&P (Exploration & Production), the publication of Hart Energy, noted in March 2014:
Hopes of stepping up oil exploration in Nigeria’s Lake Chad Basin have been dashed by the brutal attacks of Islamic Boko Haram and the Ansaru sect terrorists in the country’s northeastern region…Between 2011 and 2013 the Nigerian government provided $ 240 million to facilitate oil and gas exploration activities in the Lake Chad Basin…Oil prospecting in the Lake Chad Basin was “yielding promising results and may lead to commercial exploration of oil and gas this year,” Nigeria’s Vice President Namadi Sambo said in 2013…But the deadly activities of the Boko Haram insurgents halted plans.
So, while Nigeria is forced to put the brakes on its oil exploration and development in the Chad Basin, its neighbors, most notably Chad, continue theirs. As Dr. Peregrino Brimah explained, “The Boko Haram insurgency has conveniently provided Chad, under the government of Idriss Déby, unfettered access to oil under Nigeria’s soils through 3D oil drilling from within its territorial borders, which the country exports.” So, in true Daniel Plainview “I drink your milkshake” style, Déby has engaged in siphoning off Nigeria’s oil wealth, and exporting it for massive profits for himself and his cronies. But of course, Chad is not alone in this endeavor, as it has company from Cameroon and Niger, both of whom are doing precisely the same thing.
Standing above and behind this practice is the former colonial power France – the one-time colonial master of Chad, Cameroon, and Niger. Today, France’s dominant role continues as its port of Le Havre is the final destination for the unrefined oil extracted from under the feet of West Africans. Needless to say, there are very powerful interests both in Africa and Europe who want to ensure that the flow of their precious oil continues unabated. Moreover, they will do anything to prevent the major oil exporting power of the region, namely Nigeria, from being able to cut in on their action.
And this regional rivalry is, at least in part, the reason why Boko Haram really has the potential to spark international conflict. Last October, after Nigerian military forces launched an offensive against Boko Haram, the ensuing battle spilled across the Nigeria-Cameroon border where, depending on who you believe, either Nigerian forces retreated, or they pursued Boko Haram suspects. In total, 107 Boko Haram militants were killed, along with 8 Cameroonian military officers and dozens of civilians. In this way, the resource war is transmogrified into a shooting war. The destabilization of the entire region is not far off from that.
It is precisely this danger of a regional destabilization that has so many observers around the world biting their nails. The obvious danger is that West Africa could become, like the Sahel and most of North Africa, a locus of extremism and terror. However, the most pressing question of all is why. In whose interest is it to see the whole region destabilized? What is the global and geopolitical context for understanding these decidedly complex and interconnected issues?
Part 2 of this article will examine the geopolitical and strategic context within which these events should be understood. It will detail how the US and certain European powers are exploiting the situation for their own gain.
Eric Draitser is the founder of StopImperialism.com. He is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. You can reach him at email@example.com.
US claims to be waging war against “Islamic State” whose various “al-Baghdadi” leaders do not exist. In 2007, the New York Times revealed that long-vilified “Islamic State” leader Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi did not exist, and that the creation of this fictional character was a ruse to obfuscate the role of foreigners in the creation and perpetuation of “Al Qaeda in Iraq.”
Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima.In an article titled, “Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says,” the NYT reports that:
The NYT would also reveal the purpose of the deception:
The ruse, Bergner said, was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was trying to mask the dominant role that foreigners play in that insurgent organization.
The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and then arrange for Masri to swear allegiance to him. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements.
The admission by US military leaders, reported in the NYT, reveals that the so-called “Islamic State” was nothing more than an appendage of Al Qaeda – with Al Qaeda itself directly armed, funded, and backed by stalwart US allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Despite the NYT and the Pentagon’s admissions, the entire ruse has continued, on an exponential scale.
US Intentionally Raised and Unleashed Al Qaeda Upon Iraq and Syria
Al Qaeda’s current presence in Iraq and Syria, and their leading role in the fight against the Iranian-leaning government’s of Damascus and Baghdad, are the present-day manifestation of a Western criminal conspiracy exposed as early as 2007. Revealed by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” it was stated explicitly that (emphasis added):
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
While the NYT attempted to shift blame to sponsors in “Pakistan” in 2007, the paper itself, along with many others across the West’s vast media monopolies, have since then admitted that America’s closest allies in the Middle East are behind Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq, not “Pakistan.”Hersh would go on to document in his 9-page report, the West and its regional partners intentional engineering of a devastating, regional sectarian bloodbath.
The Daily Beast would report in an article literally titled, “America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS,” that:
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now threatening Baghdad, was funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three U.S. allies that have dual agendas in the war on terror.
The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built and grown for years with the help of elite donors from American supposed allies in the Persian Gulf region. There, the threat of Iran, Assad, and the Sunni-Shiite sectarian war trumps the U.S. goal of stability and moderation in the region.
Unfortunately for the spin doctors at the Daily Beast, the fact that this “threat of Iran, Assad, and the Sunni-Shiite sectarian war,” has already been revealed as a joint enterprise not only among Persian Gulf autocracies, but in fact, led by the United States itself, means that Al Qaeda’s expansion in Syria and Iraq, is the verbatim manifestation of the conspiracy warned about by Hersh in 2007.
Baghdadi Ruse Not Only to Hide “Foreign” role, but to Hide US-Saudi Involvement
Today, another “al-Baghdadi” allegedly leads the “Islamic State.” His existence and leadership role is also unconfirmed and the likelihood that Al Qaeda’s “Baghdadi ruse” is simply being repeated, amid feigned and complicit ignorance by the Pentagon, is all but confirmed. Not only does the “Islamic State’s” leader appear to be entirely fictional, but so is ISIS itself. It is nothing more than the rebranding of Al Qaeda, working seamlessly with other Western and Persian Gulf-backed militant fronts including Al Nusra, for the explicit goal of overthrowing the government of Syria and using the despoiled nation as a staging ground for a similar proxy war to be waged upon Iran.
The United States, bombing a fictional terrorist organization led by a non-existent, fictional character, is at the very heart of the ruse described by the NYT in 2007, a ruse that continues to present day. The goal is not to eliminate ISIS, but to use the fictional front as a pretext to further intervene on behalf of real militant extremists forming the core of the joint US-NATO-Saudi proxy front for the purpose of overthrowing the government in Damascus.
Attempts to portray ISIS as an “indigenous” movement sprung from the Iraqi and Syrian deserts, is to obfuscate the fact that Al Qaeda is currently harbored by NATO in nearby Turkey, and the summation of its support, fighters, weapons, and cash flows from NATO territory, not “seized oilfields” in Syria or from amongst local populations.
This reality comes into sharper focus considering other recent reports that so-called “ISIS” territory has in fact, doubled in the wake of US airstrikes, not shrunk. Fox News reports in their article, “ISIS control of Syria reportedly expands since start of US-led airstrikes,” that:
The Islamic State terror group reportedly has increased the amount of territory they control in Syria as the U.S.-led bombing campaign approaches its four-month anniversary.
The Wall Street Journal, citing U.S. government and independent assessments, say that the Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, has control of a large swath of northeastern Syria and is creeping toward key cities in the country’s west, including Aleppo, a center of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
At face value, it would seem as if US policy has failed utterly, if in fact its goal was to truly neutralize ISIS. But with ISIS a fictional creation led by non-existent leaders, and the stated goal of the US being the overthrow of the Syrian government, the doubling of territory held by Al Qaeda, and Al Qaeda’s approach to cities like Aleppo on the brink of being liberated by Syrian troops, it is clear that America’s presence in Syria – not to mention in neighboring Iraq – is to support, not stop these terrorist forces.
Recognizing the West’s role in Syria as unprecedented, deplorable, genocidal state-sponsorship of terrorism, and treating the terrorist fronts operating in and along Syria’s borders as a foreign incursion, may allow Syria and its allies to reveal current military operations as a massive counter-terrorism effort, not a “civil war,” and allowing for more open support for the government in Damascus to ensure this effort succeeds.
The Global Calculator, which allows users to show the global effects of climate change policy makers, is the latest piece of online softwarefrom the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
It suggests that to cap levels of toxic emissions, there will have to be a drastic overhaul of the current electricity system and mass investment in renewable energy and nuclear power, as well as greater public transport systems.
The ministry further predicts that billions of the world’s population are likely to remain in extreme poverty until the middle of the century, as the increasing population will make it difficult for growing prosperity to emerge.
The analysis, which relies on commitment to the 2 degree global warming cap, is likely to produce some controversial findings.
The calculator suggests that in order to meet the rising need for food, intensive farming techniques will have to be used over increased areas of land, meaning that biodiversity may be put in danger.
It proposes intensive farming practices, including keeping cattle and other animals in warehouses so they rarely see daylight, to feed the expanding population, and urges consumers to move away from energy inefficient food sources such as beef, and toward more sustainable foods, such as chicken and vegetables.
The analysis further claimed that there should be a complete stop to deforestation, and that re-forestation of between 5 and 15 percent of the world’s landmass is essential by 2050.
There are problems, however, with some of the analysis from the calculator. Limits in air travel must be imposed to maintain the 2 degree global warming cap, and while it is possible for the world to produce the requisite number of calories to support each individual, it is unlikely everyone will receive their share without a transformation of equity.
Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, praised the calculator’s results.
“For the first time, this calculator shows that everyone in the world can prosper while limiting global temperature rises to 2C, preventing the most serious impacts of climate change.
“Yet the calculator is also very clear that we must act now to change how we use and generate energy and how we use our land if we are going to achieve this green growth,” he said.
Some environmental campaigners agreed that the calculator was a beneficial tool to help policymakers.
Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said: “The need for urgent action to avoid dangerous climate change is well accepted, but the steps we should take are often hotly contested. This excellent tool enables everyone to play the role of world leader and make decisions on the action we should take in key areas such as energy, manufacturing and farming.
He added: “It shows we can still avoid the world warming by much less than 2C above pre-industrial levels – all we need is the will to act. This calculator demonstrates to our political leaders that a cleaner, safer, fairer world is possible.”
The UK government calculator is currently being offered to other governments before key climate talks in Paris at the end of 2015.
|(NaturalNews) You will never hear us at Natural News accuse the mainstream media of good news judgment, especially when it comes to political coverage, but some decisions made by news editors and producers just baffles us — and radio host Robert Scott Bell.On a recent program…|
Washington’s attack on Russia has moved beyond the boundary of the absurd into the realm of insanity. The New Chief of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack, has declared the Russian news service, RT, which broadcasts in multiple languages, to be a terrorist organization equivalent to Boko Haram and the Islamic State, and Standard and Poor’s just downgraded Russia’s credit rating to junk status.
Galway city council has passed a motion calling on the government to ban the practice of fluoridation in Irish drinking water.
The motion was passed at the council’s meeting yesterday, gaining support across the political spectrum.
Dublin City and Cork County councils have already passed motions calling for an end to the practice.
The Galway County Council motion calls for the members to register their opposition “based on documented research that shows a decrease dental caries in all western countries irrespective of whether the water is fluoridated or not, as well as research which shows the effect of fluoride to be topical not systemic (ie works at the location not through the body)”.
It also calls on the Government to organise a national referendum on water fluoridation in the next 18 months, which will “educate the public thoroughly on both sides of the debate and allow their voice to be heard”.
It was brought by independent councillor Jim Cuddy, who told TheJournal.ie that he had been contacted by a number of constituents.
“There has been a concern about how much fluorine is in the water. We know that fluorine isn’t excreted by the human body. It’s the indiscrimate medication of water.
“It’s important that the Minister for Health makes a statement that it is safe and stands over that.
“People are drinking and it is staying in their bodies.”
The Irish Dental Association says that there is no issue with the safety of fluoridation. The practice is supported by all of Ireland’s dental schools and the dental associations of 27 countries representing 370 million people.
Fintan Hourihane of the IDA told TheJournal.ie that dentists support fluoridation on health grounds.
“The important thing to say is that the Department of Health is investigating the issue through the Health Research Board and a report will be published in the coming weeks.
“We have always promoted water fluoridation, we don’t see any valid medical evidence for banning it.
“There has been 15 peer reviewed studies and all have found that it helps dental health.”
The two most recent major studies on the issue, from the health boards of England and New Zealand both found that at existing and recommended levels, fluoridation is safe.
The Royal Society of New Zealand report says that the process should be expanded.
“Given the caveat that science can never be absolute, the panel is unanimous in its conclusion that there are no adverse effects of fluoride of any significance arising from fluoridation at the levels used in New Zealand. In particular, no effects on brain development, cancer risk or cardiovascular or metabolic risk have been substantiated, and the safety margins are such that no subset of the population is at risk because of fluoridation.
“Our assessment suggests that it is appropriate, from the scientific perspective, that fluoridation be expanded to assist those New Zealand communities that currently do not benefit from this public health measure – particularly those with a high prevalence of dental caries.”
The Public Health England report found no evidence that cancers or any illness were more prevalent in fluoridated areas.
“The report provides further reassurance that water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure. PHE continues to keep the evidence base under review and will use this report as part of an ongoing dialogue with local authorities before publishing a further report within the next four years.”
The Department of Health says that the issue is one which is monitored.
“The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, which operates under the aegis of the Department of Health, monitors new and emerging issues on fluoride and its effects on health and related matters. The Expert Body advises that the balance of scientific evidence worldwide confirms that water fluoridation, at the optimal level, does not cause any ill effects and continues to be safe and effective in protecting the oral health of all age groups.
“The Department of Health keeps water fluoridation policy under constant review. As part of this ongoing work, a review of evidence on the impact of water fluoridation at its current level on the health of the population is being conducted by the Health Research Board on behalf of the Department. This review is currently being finalised.”
I didn’t provide this list to say whether these people are good or bad. I provide it, because whenever 80 people own half the world’s wealth, we sure better know who they are. We should also be cognizant of the disproportionate influence any of them can have on public affairs should they want to.
Read more here.
So much derp here, we don’t even know where to begin. “A man who says he operated a drone that crashed on the White House grounds early Monday is an employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency,” law enforcement officials told the New York Times today.